In need of some pointers!!

  1. 1
    hello everyone,
    i graduated from high school in june 2011 i started working at my local hospital (as a cna) in august 2011 on the pediatric/women's health floor, then transferred to the er in december, where i wanted to be to start with. i'm a full-time student going for my nursing, but right now i'm taking prerequisites so when i'm in the nursing program that will be all i have to worry about (no math, history, english, etc..) i'm also a volunteer at the local fire department and rescue squad!

    my dream is to become a flight nurse!!
    :d
    i'm torn at what route i should do to make it there flawlessly. i've thought about going paramedic and bridging to rn thinking that if i get some experience in the truck it would land me a spot in the bird, but was told that i should just go for rn and keep going for my bsn and msn because the more education behind you would land you the job better than one that has minimum education. is this true? and which way is best? plus, what other certifications should i be looking into that would benefit me for flight nursing requirements?
    also i've always had an interest in the air force for just curious reasons and for the chance that i would be able to achieve my goal quicker than possible. would this benefit me or is it just something i shouldn't stress over?

    if someone would please just give me some pointers in what i should do, i would be forever grateful for your time and assistance!!


    p.s. i went skydiving this past november, to see if i could handle the heights since i've never flown, and i fell in love with it!! i go back this summer for my second tandem jump!
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Apr 22, '12 : Reason: Too many personal identifiers
    Pneumothorax likes this.
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  4. 0
    Quote from khooters13
    hello everyone,

    my name is kirstie hoots and i graduated from high school in june 2011 where i got my cna certification in february 2011 and began a emt-b class in april 2011 and ended in july 2011 with my emt-b certification. i started working at my local hospital (as a cna) in august 2011 on the pediatric/women's health floor, then transferred to the er in december, where i wanted to be to start with. i'm a full-time student going for my nursing, but right now i'm taking prerequisites so when i'm in the nursing program that will be all i have to worry about (no math, history, english, etc..) i'm also a volunteer at the local fire department and rescue squad!

    my dream is to become a flight nurse!!
    :d
    i'm torn at what route i should do to make it there flawlessly. i've thought about going paramedic and bridging to rn thinking that if i get some experience in the truck it would land me a spot in the bird, but was told that i should just go for rn and keep going for my bsn and msn because the more education behind you would land you the job better than one that has minimum education. is this true? and which way is best? plus, what other certifications should i be looking into that would benefit me for flight nursing requirements?
    also i've always had an interest in the air force for just curious reasons and for the chance that i would be able to achieve my goal quicker than possible. would this benefit me or is it just something i shouldn't stress over?

    if someone would please just give me some pointers in what i should do, i would be forever grateful for your time and assistance!!


    p.s. i went skydiving this past november, to see if i could handle the heights since i've never flown, and i fell in love with it!! i go back this summer for my second tandem jump!
    i am not a flightnurse (yet ) but ill be a graduate nurse soon and like yourself, was looking for the right way to get experiences that would make me more attractive to employers. i think its a great idea to get your paramedic, because it will give you an idea of what its like to work in the field and get used to the types of patients, assessments, and critical thinking on your toes. i have been told by a few of my flight nurse friends that working in icu is really the way to go because you have more exposure to things like ventilators, transducers, multiple lines/drips. things like that. i think getting an msn is a great idea as well, and its always good to have a solid education, however i think solid critical care experience would be the greater benefit.

    good luck!
  5. 0
    job requirements of a flight nurse....a job description.
    http://www.lzontheweb.com/pdfs/life ...ight nurse.pdf

    role of the flight nurse

    rns that make it onto a plane or rescue helicopter have earned some serious stripes in the nursing industry. these are not jobs open to new grads still wet behind the ears from nursing school. you might imagine the level of expertise and preparedness it could take to win a spot on a flight team….

    flight nurses are a sub-specialty of trauma nurse that take emergency care to the skies. it’s like a super-charged emt but with even more aggressive patient care tactics. flight crews are common at large trauma hospitals where flight teams respond to accidents, disasters, and transport critically ill patients sometimes over hundreds of miles, or far beyond the ground an ambulance could respond to. the goal of each mission: to triage, stabilize and transport as many victims as possible to a medical center able to more adequately handle these types of incidents.

    nursing school programs for flight nurses


    flight nursing, in and of itself, is not packaged into any formal nursing school degree. however there is a logical educational and professional track to follow in nursing that could put you squarely in contention for such a job should you prove the mettle.

    first, most flight nurses are expected to earn an msn or bsn at the least. almost a requirement is experience in emergency nursing—ed or trauma unit. critical care nurses are often considered as well. in the ed you gain the know-how necessary to manage a constantly changing patient ebb and flow where a wide variety of mild conditions to life-threatening traumas can exist in tandem. in an ed rns learn to sink or swim, to fly by the seat of their pants and make split-second life-changing decisions based on excellent nursing judgment and attention to patient care and safety.

    if you can do this successfully for a few years then you may be ready to compete for a flight nurse job. “compete,” is the operative term. flight nurse job positions are limited and not available everywhere. furthermore flight nurses are seriously committed to their jobs, so there is hardly a glut of openings. you’ll have to pursue a job at a large level i or ii trauma center most likely.

    the key to landing a flight nurse job: the more advanced and trauma-targeted your training, the better.
    further certification requirements. you can help advance your qualifications with membership in the emergency nurses association (ena) and by opting to take the certified flight rn exam. other possible certifications and qualifications include:
    • emt certification
    • various life support certifications—neonate, pediatric, geriatric, etc.
    • disaster management certification
    on the job training for flight nurses ensures new job candidates are skilled with specialized flight equipment and understand the scope of practice in this ultra-specialized environment. prospective rn flight nurses may be required to complete in-flight clinical hours to meet job prerequisites, as well.

    flight nurse requirements
    flight nursing: nurse-recruiter.com

    this site will interest you.

    air & surface transport nurse association (astna)

    president's message

    welcome to the air & surface transport nurse association (astna) website. we are the professional organization for flight nurses and ground critical care nurses for both adults and pediatrics. if you are already a member, please sign into the member only website. if you cannot remember your log in information, email astna@gwami.com. if you are exploring our site for the first time or are looking for information regarding astna and/or flight or critical care transport nursing, please feel free to explore this website.

    astna | air and surface transport nurses association

    ucan university of chicago aeromedical network my personal favourite

    job summary provides high level patient care to the critically ill, or injured, neonatal, pediatric, and adult patients from the scene of injury, or who require inter-hospital transfer. maintains the safest possible transport environment for him/herself, the patient, fellow ucan personnel, and others who may come into contact with ucan. provides education regarding ucan, uch services, as well as medical/nursing critical care certification courses for both the internal uch and external referring medical communities.
    qualifications/requirement
    • current illinois licensure as a registered nurse.
    • bachelor’s degree preferred, although equivalent previous experience as a flight nurse will substitute.
    • a minimum of three to five years of professional nursing experience in a critical care/emergency setting.
    • previous flight nurse, pediatric and/or neonatal experience preferred.
    • bls, acls, pals, nrp, tns or tncc, enpc, phtls, or btls required at time of hire, or within 6 months of employment.
    • tnatc, cen, ccrn, cfrn, micn/ecrn preferred.
    • strong verbal and written communication skills required.

      flight nurse careers & jobs | university of chicago aeromedical network (ucan) 1-800-621-7827 | chicago, il
    flight nurse stat medevac pittsburgh,pa

    requirements:
    no taller than 6’2”
    must weigh less than 210 lbs at time of interview, and never exceed that weight during term of employment
    current pennsylvania prehospital registered nurse (phrn) certification
    for more information visit www.emsi.org
    under ems education, select certifications
    current rn license in your home state
    minimum three (3) years’ experience as a rn at the critical care level; ed, icu/ccu, pacu, or, etc.
    current health professional cpr certification

    license/certification requirements
    within 90-days of hire -- paramedics:
    pennsylvania and ohio paramedic certification required
    pennsylvania and maryland paramedic certification required
    additionally, district of columbia paramedic license also required

    within 90-days of hire – nurses:
    pennsylvania and ohio rn license for all bases
    pennsylvania, maryland, delaware, and district of columbia rn license required

    required of all flight paramedics and nurses within 90-days of hire:
    advanced cardiac life support (acls)
    pediatric advanced life support (pals)
    international trauma life support (itls) or equivalent (phtls, tncc, atls)
    neonatal resuscitation program (nrp)
    valid passport

    within 2-years of hire:
    paramedic: flight paramedic certification (fp-c)
    nurse: certified flight registered nurse (cfrn)

    stat medevac - qualifications

    i would work on your rn. eventually you will have to get your emt-p. try to associate yourself with facilities that have flight crews. a focus on all areas of critical care, and all ages as well as a focus on emergency medicine. it's a great job! but very difficult to get into.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Apr 18, '12
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    You do not have to be a paramedic in most states. I also want to do flight and am working in ICU. After a year or two in ICU i plan on working ER with per diem ICU. Should be able to competitively apply after a few years.
    Pneumothorax likes this.
  7. 1
    I just got hired on to a flight program - I've been a nurse for 5 years. 1 on the floor, 2 in a Trauma/Surgical/Burn ICU and 2 in a Cardiac ICU. Good luck!
    Esme12 likes this.
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    amyla is the correct was to go if your an RN , get into as many icu's as possible the bridge from ICU on the ground to ICU [and thats what it is] in the air is key. Your not an ER RN up there you are the pts life support if you havent dont it regularly on the ground god help them in the sky where you act as RN/RT/DR sure you may have a sat phone to your medical director, im sure he sits there just waiting for the call LOL, its hard to talk when your intubating,running drugs,holding pressure and about to start compressions . Good flight companies look for well trained icu RN's who may have some trauma experience but ask any ICU RN if they ever see trauma and i think they would say yes.
    Esme12 likes this.
  9. 0
    There are many ways to get to flight and even more opinions on how to get there. Many people like to cite their route as the best. Be cautious and always consider the source. I will say, if you want to be a flight nurse, then become a nurse. It is a long road, so why not move in that direction. Will you benefit from paramedic education? Yes, of course, but you have nursing school and nursing experience ahead of you. That is quite likely 7+ years at the minimum. Be patient (I know it is hard), but you will be there before you know it.

    Focus on becoming a good student and then a good nurse. Strive for excellence. Become a leader in which ever unit you end up. Join committees and be visible. It is not just clinical skill that is necessary to gain entry into many flight programs. Especially larger, hospital based programs. We are involved in research, performance improvement, community outreach, marketing, education, and safety activities. Besides skills can be taught more easily than behaviors.

    The general requirements for flight are no secret as esme12 has demonstrated. If you have a region or specific programs in mind then get to know theirs. You will do well to get to know the flight team and again be a known entity. I'll bet as you get close they will go out of their way to assist you in reaching your dream. Once you have some nursing experience, scheduling observational flights is a great way to get to see the roles and functions of the flight nurse and for the team to get to know you.

    Some subscribe to the philosophy of "Don't learn where you plan to land." Meaning go make your early mistakes elsewhere. I do not believe this. Show up and be your best.

    ED or ICU? I work with with phenomenal nurses from both arenas. EMS experience or not? Same. You learn some things in the ED and others in the ICU. EMS too. I love my ICU skills set and feel competent managing patients with tubes, lines, drips and devices. I know vasopressors, beta-blockers, inotropic, and a variety of other medications inside and out. I can do med math is a flash. I can bring down the hammer and make someone calm and comfortable swiftly and with confidence. ED nurses do some of these and other great things too! No matter where you come from, you will have deficits. It is your responsibility to know what they are. And, have a plan address them. Simply be the best at what you do! Follow your heart and the opportunities you are given and create. Carve out your own path to flight! Good Luck!

    I digress - Trauma is exciting. It is often highly visible. The helicopter lands, closing the interstate with cameras rolling. The rock stars descend and save the day. For most programs, this is a small portion of their flight volume. Most programs < 40% scene response. Trauma patients are often very busy patients (lots to do in a short amount of time) and can be really fun to take care of (advanced level skills and yes some critical thinking in the application of skills). They are also the easiest to manage; think ABCs. I really question why we put so much emphasis here. Nonetheless, you will mange trauma patients at various phases in the ED or ICU. In flight you will manage pre-hospital trauma and inter-facility trauma.
  10. 0
    Duplicate.
    Last edit by mtnflyer on Jul 20, '13 : Reason: Duplicate post.


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